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Voters Want Change. Labour Must Deliver It.


The Tories have been booted out of office after 14 years of wrecking our country. Rebuilding Britain will require bold and ambitious policies. If Labour doesn't deliver, voters will look elsewhere.

(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Change. A simple slogan that chimed with the nation last night. A deeply unpopular Conservative Party has been booted out of office after 14 years of wrecking Britain. Our schools and hospitals are quite literally crumbling and virtually nobody feels any better off. Johnson partied away during the pandemic. Truss crashed the economy. And Sunak demonstrated just how out of touch the Tories are.

Much post-election analysis will focus on the sheer incompetence of these individuals. They have presided over numerous scandals, from partygate to crony contracts. But the anger runs much deeper. Their failed austerity agenda has battered and bruised our public services, increased poverty, and wrecked our communities.

It’s no surprise that the top three concerns for voters in this election were the cost of living, health and the state of the economy.

There’s much to celebrate about the defeat of the Conservative Party. From the inhumane Rwanda deportations to the outrageous anti-strike laws, some of their worst policies have been consigned alongside them to the dustbin of history where they belong. Unfortunately, much of their legacy remains intact. Their poisonous racist culture war rhetoric has enabled the rapid rise of the far-right. The Reform Party have won 14 percent of the vote, with 5 MPs in Parliament including Nigel Farage. They came second in numerous Labour heartlands and their influence is likely to grow in the coming years. We only need to look over the channel to see the consequences of legitimising their rhetoric.

A closer analysis of the election result demonstrates the challenges ahead. Turnout in this general election was just 59.4 percent the second lowest since the Second World War. Labour have won a landslide with just 34 percent of the vote and the party faces a strong challenge not just from the Reform Party but from the Greens and Independent candidates too.

The Greens have picked up significant support with 4 MPs, also coming second to Labour in dozens of seats. And Labour have lost 5 former strongholds to Independent candidates who capitalised, among other issues, on a wave of anger over Labour’s awful stance on Gaza. From Bradford West to Bethnal Green and Bow, some of the party’s safest seats have become marginal constituencies. Voters cannot be taken for granted and politicians will have to work much harder to win the trust of our communities.

It’s abundantly clear that a hollow technocratic managerialist agenda could spell trouble for the party from left and right in the years to come. From housing to healthcare, it is now a Labour Government that will be tasked with fixing the multiple crises Britain faces and a Labour Government that will be held responsible if it doesn’t. That means ditching the discredited fiscal conservative approach to our public services. Sticking to the same Tory tax and spend policies that got us into this mess in the first place is a disaster waiting to happen.

Labour are right to say they are inheriting a mess. But they are wrong to pretend there is nothing they can do about it. There is a thumping mandate for transformative change. Labour has a historic opportunity to lift children out of poverty, to provide the investment this country so desperately craves and to fix our public services.

It is the task of our movement to ensure that Labour delivers. That means taking on the corporate lobbyists who have already succeeded at watering down Labour’s workers’ rights policies and continuing to organise in the workplace and in our communities. From Palestine solidarity to public sector pay, there are plenty of battles ahead. Tribune will continue to work alongside Labour MPs, trade unionists and community organisers in advocating for bold and ambitious policies to transform the country.

We have seen the end of Tory rule. Now, let’s see the end of Tory rhetoric and Tory policy. Voters want a change. If Labour does not deliver it, they will look elsewhere.